I've been reading many of your comments for a few days, and I'm amazed at the level of knowledge on this forum!
Can you guys help put me on the right path to finding a great kitchen knife?
I know this question is... dull, but we all have to start somewhere!
My birthday is in a couple of weeks, and my wife has given me the green light to purchase a proper kitchen knife. The budget is $200 and preferably something that is available on Amazon (prime if possible), though not imperative.
I've been on a crash course, digging through forums and reading reviews for a week, and I'm finding myself overwhelmed with information and not sure how to separate the good advice from the bad.
Here are my answers to the newb-questionnaire:
What country are you in?
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
Leaning towards a Gyuto (seems to be the most versatile) - also considering Nakiri
Are you right or left handed?
Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
Interested in Japanese, but open to either.
What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
210-240mm for Gyuto, 165 for Nakiri
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Frequent home use.
What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
Exclusively for prepping vegetables
What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Cheap stamped stainless western chef's knife, prior to that a low-end Henckels santoku.
Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use?
What cutting motions do you primarily use?
Push cut mostly, some slicing.
Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
I'm not overly concerned with aesthetics, though I do like the clean look of classic Japanese knives.
Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of th knife; improved balance)?
Looking for a lighter, sharper, more nimble knife.
Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
This may be the tricky part - I would like something very sharp, right out of the box with excellent edge retention. I am interested in learning to properly sharpen myself, though I may initially have it professionally sharpened. I want something that is relatively "low maintenance"
I don't mind wiping the knife down after each use & don't mind if it develops a patina, but don't want to have to oil it like a cast iron pan.
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
Not properly (I currently use a dual-step sharpener), but I want to learn proper techniques once I have a knife that is worthy.
I know there is no such thing as a "best knife" - I'm just looking for a great value and want to avoid overpaying simply based on brand marketing / gimmicks.
I've found a few candidates available on Amazon:
Misono UX10 Gyutou 8.2" (21cm) - Right
Yoshihiro Cutlery Hammered Damascus Gyuto Knife, 9.5-Inch
YOSHIHIRO- NSW Hammered Damascus Chef Knife Gyuto Knife Shitan handle 8.25" 210mm MADE IN JAPAN
Shun Premier Chef's Knife, 8-Inch
Kikuichi 8in Ice Hardened Molybdenum Stainless Gyuto Knife
Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2" (21cm)
This is by no means a definitive list - any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated at this point!
Thanks in advance.
For everything you mention... unless you want a fancy look like Damascus clad, this is IT in that price range. http://epicureanedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=85650
Thanks for your quick reply! Can I get you to elaborate more on why? I presume the use of PM steel is a big factor?
Originally Posted by vai777
Also, why the knives I listed are not a good value or fit for my needs?
Hoping to learn as much as I can in the process!
Not that the knives you listed aren't good but rather I make the Ikeda suggestion on the fact that I have been through so many knives it isn't even funny (from $100-$2000) and have found the Ikeda PM to be superior to everything else out there....regardless of price point. In a lot of cases you pay for a fancy handle or a Damascus cladding or some other marketing hype. I have found the Ikeda (Blazen as well) to be no frill knives that hold an edge better than any carbon steel, are stainless (or at least very very stain resistant) and require basically ZERO maintenance. As long as you know what the intended purpose for the knife is )and not someone who is going to pry ice cubes out of a tray or try and split apart frozen steaks with it) the Ikeda will last you a lifetime of worry free performance.
Originally Posted by CouteauQuest
It isn't going to turn heads, and it isn't going to stand out amongst the plethora of fancy custom made J knives that are now available but it will cut better than most and hold it's edge better than all (at least everything I've used).
Dels subforum, for 95 more, you could grab his 210mm line knife. Dels knives are great. Then again, that's like going from high school to the big leagues
Note... the OOB edge can vary greatly from knife to knife even amongst the same maker. Mine was ok... but that wasn't a factor because I never use the factory edge. Also I have thinned mine out drastically making it even better than when it was new.
I wouldn't limit myself to shopping on Amazon as far as knives go. Most sellers offer free or cheap shipping anyway.
yeah I would imagine that O-1 210 would be nice... but it still isn't going to cut or retain an edge better than the Ikeda. Though it does look better.
Originally Posted by Pachowder
Check out Gesshin Kagero if you like the Akifusa. Supposedly the Kageros have an improved grind. I'm happy with mine.
Jon is always great to do business with.
If you do shop for the Akifusa at Epicurean Edge be aware there's also a 10% discount code for forum members.
I'm not sure it is the best recommendation for a first Japanese knife, though, because they are so brittle. A lot of people poo-poo the Tojiro DP guyto, but I think it's a good first Japanese knife with great value.
Other good choices are:
Originally Posted by orangehero
Yeah some people say the Ikeda is brittle... I don't see it though. Then again I know how it is supposed to be used.